The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 21, 2008

Missouri's fix

Tigers must win conference to keep moving forward

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There usually isn’t a certain moment when a football team’s status changes. It might occur after a big win or a big season. But once it happens, the intensity level each Saturday changes.

The crowd noise gets louder at home and away. The spotlight gets brighter. Opponents become more focused. Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel knows what it means for the Tigers.

“We used to be the hunters and now we’re the hunted,” he said Monday afternoon at Big 12 Football Media Days.

It’s a fact of life for the Tigers this season. Everything they do over the remaining months of 2008 will be compared to last season.

The Tigers, who went 12-2 last season, are the overwhelming pick to win the Big 12 North for the second straight year, and a fashionable pick to win the conference and compete for a national championship.

Those expectations aren’t laid upon middle-of-the-pack programs. It’s the leaders who get them.

Missouri made its move in 2007. It went from a team typically on the fringe of the polls that typically receives a middle-tier bowl bid to national championship contention and the Big 12 title game.

“We certainly haven’t arrived,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “We won the Big 12 North last year, but Missouri still hasn’t won a Big 12 championship yet.”

Most teams in BCS conferences have had that one season when they were among college football’s elite. Doing it on a consistent is a harder feat. Those that can brag about years, decades and generations of sustained success belong to a very exclusive fraternity.

In the Big 12, only Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska have that kind of tradition.

Everyone is still striving to get there. The Tigers believe they have what it takes to take that next step.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Lorenzana Texas-Arlington wrecks Sooner momentum with double plays

    Oklahoma didn’t arrive at L. Dale Mitchell in a listless state on Tuesday. It knew the meeting with Texas-Arlington was important. Momentum needed to start heading in a positive direction....

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners continue winning streak on the diamond

    After an up-and-down weekend against Texas that ultimately ended on a high note with the Sooners winning two of three, Oklahoma continued its streak on Tuesday....

    April 23, 2014

  • Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

Facebook